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Embarrassment for Congress: Party MLA says bribe tape against BJP 'fake'

Bengaluru: All eyes are on the politics in Karnataka for over a week now. In a new development which is seen as a major embarrassment for the Congress, one of its own lawmaker from Yellapur, Shivaram Hebbar dismissed the ‘bribery bomb’ allegation that Congress hurled at the BJP ahead of the floor test in Karnataka Assembly on Saturday.

Hebbar said the video his party allegedly cited to claim that the BJP was indulged in horse trading and had reached out to his wife is “fake and fabricated”.

Hebbar’s took to Facebook where he denounced the "people who brought out the fake video".

The post provided fodder to BJP, which had been facing Congress allegations of coercion and abduction ahead of confidence vote on Saturday.

In his Facebook post, Hebbar wrote: "I learnt about the audio clippings of the conversation purportedly between my wife and BJP leaders later when I was in the assembly. This is neither my wife's voice nor has she received any call. I condemn whoever has released such audio clippings for political reasons. This is a fake audio tape..."

The audio tape was released by Congress MLC V S Ugrappa on Saturday. The Congress had claimed that the tape was of a recorded call by BJP leaders offering Rs 15 crore bribe to Hebbar’s wife for his support.

The Congress had released six audio recording in the run-up to the floor test on Saturday. One of these videos clips had the voice of BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa, the Congress claimed.

The floor test however did not take place as Yeddyurappa announced his decision to resign from the chief ministerial post minutes before the vote.

Enclosing the Facebook post, BJP’s national Information and Technology cell head, Amit Malviya, tweeted: "Facebook post of Congress MLA Shivram Hebbar from Yellapur, in which he denies his wife ever getting a call from BJP, calls it a fake audio clip... Shame on Congress for brazenly lying, spreading mis-information and media channels for lapping it up. It is all over regional paper."

Not commenting on Hebbar’s statement, Congress MLA BC Patil told news agency ANI: “They (BJP) offered me Minister post and all, it’s a fact. I don’t know about Hebbar. I can talk about myself. Yeddyurappa, Sriramulu and Muralidhar Rao spoke to me.”

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